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Prepackaged Bagged Lettice - How to keep fresh

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Michelle Oct 15, 2004 01:21 PM

I tend to buy the prepackaged lettice in a bag because it is the easiest way to make a quick salad for dinner after I get home tired at night. The problem is, once I open the bag, the lettice goes bad within a day. I live alone, and can never eat a whole bag of lettice in one day. Any secrets on how to keep this type of prepackaged lettice fresh?

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  1. c
    Candy Oct 15, 2004 02:25 PM

    Watch the sell by date on what you are buying and when you do buy it take it out of that bag, wash it (I found a squashed fly in mine once), spin dry and then wrap loosely in a clean dish towel and put into a plastic bag. Do not seal the bag.

    I have quit buying that stuff. Simple economics was at the bottom of the decision. I can buy quite a variety of lettuces and what I do will wash it all and break it up, spin it dry and again wrap it loosely in a towel and bag it. I do enough for a week for the two of us. All I have to do is get the bag out at meal time and the salad is just about ready. For the $2.99/bag I can get more and more interesting salads buying heads of lettuce and this usually works for about 2 weeks for me.

    1. e
      Erin Oct 15, 2004 02:41 PM

      I have had the same problem in the past. One of the problems was that the bagged lettuce from the grocery was almost on its last leg. Even if I opened the bag on the day I bought it, the lettuce never seemed fresh. Once opened, I could never get another day out of it. All of this changed when I started buying the bagged lettuce at Trader Joes. It is so much more fresh than that at the gocery store and it lasts a whole week. After opening, I simply use a baggie tie to loosly secure the bag. I bought some last Sunday and we ate the last of it last night. It was still good. If you have a Trader Joe's near you give it a try.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Erin
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        caliston Oct 15, 2004 03:27 PM

        I bought a bag at TJ's in San Francisco a couple weeks ago that directly addressed this problem - they were selling 1/2 sized bags of spinach and spring mix for 99 cents. There was enough lettuce for a side salad for 2 or a main for 1.

        Not sure if this is to be a regular product or is distributed nationwide.

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        Alan408 Oct 15, 2004 02:43 PM

        The bags I buy last over a week, sometimes 10-12 days. I buy a bag almost every Saturday (my shopping day), whether I need to or not. I alternate between spinach, spring mix, and the one with iceberg, cabbage and carrots.

        I leave the product in the bag, leave the bag open, and put it in the vegetable compartment of my fridge.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alan408
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          Michelle Oct 15, 2004 03:07 PM

          Thanks. I am starting to think maybe my fridge is too cold and that is why the lettice is dying so quickly (as well as my mushrooms almost freezing once). How cold should a fridge be. Mine is 39 degrees. That just sounds too cold... Any ideas?

          1. re: Michelle
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            cornflower Oct 16, 2004 12:27 PM

            39 degrees is not too cold and if you want your lettuce to stay fresh you might want to set it to 34-35 degrees. The regrigerator temperature needs to always stay at 41 degrees or colder to slow the growth of bacteria. Lettuce stays fresh best at 32-34 degrees (but always above 31.6 degrees where it starts to freeze). At 38 degrees the storage life is half that at 32 degrees.

            Also lettuce needs humidity to stay fresh. You might want to try keeping the lettuce in a perforated ziploc bag lined with damp paper towels.

            Link: http://oregonstate.edu/Dept/NWREC/let...

        2. k
          kiwi Oct 16, 2004 08:01 AM

          It is important to check the 'sell by' date, but I've been able to keep most opened bags almost a week by rolling them closed to push air out - being somewhat gentle at the same time -and putting it in a ziploc freezer bag (which I re-use) with all possible air squushed out. Then, into the drawer in the fridge. This works, and my fridge is very cold. I do find that the darker, baby leaves last the longest.

          1. q
            Quazi Oct 16, 2004 08:08 PM

            I look closely at the leaves prior to buying one bad one spreads quickly and usually roll the bag tight to squeeze the air out. Then I use a clothes pin or chip clip to seal it. I usually get a week out of it. though I usually by baby romaine, spring mix etc not iceberg

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